Rush Limbaugh   Howard Stern


Whoda thot small town mediocre Pennsylvania disc

jockey Jeff Christie would become a radio superstar

 by changing to his birth moniker of Rush Limbaugh

 just in time to take advantage of the death of the

 Fairness Doctrine  back in the late  80�s and

 becoming a talk show host.


The man millions love and others love to hate has

signed to continue his daily kilowatt ranting with

Clear Channel�s Premiere radio until he reaches 

retirement at the age of 65 in 2016.

 = = = = =


Given the shaky financial status of both Clear Channel

and Howard Stern�s Sirus, one can only wonder if

Rush and Howard will actually bank the millions they�ve

been promised. Of course, the memory of the media is

limited in their hoopla claim of Rush's payday being

record setting when in fact Howard's was greater.


With the �deal� merging Sirus and XM still in limbo

and WiFi presenting a challenge to the future

of satellite and terrestrial radio, its a good thing

Rush and Howard pocketed major signing

bonuses.  The pay out could be less than they think.

Meanwhile a nervous virus has taken root at XM

where many realize their continued employment

 is precarious.  Either XM will sink or Mel Karmazin

will swoop in to Sirusize XM.    

 = = = = =




He's keeping quiet, but it's a smart move

by WLS giving Erich Mancow Mueller  a foot in the

door that will probably lead to his full time return to

Chicago radio as he does some �fill� this month.  

He�s been without a windy city stage, since Emmis

 brought his curtain down two years ago.

= = = = =


KILT in Houston was one of the most legendary Top 40

radio stations in history and besides staffed by

celebrated talents, in it�s heyday was managed by

 Bill Weaver who wrote �Triple Double Cross� before

his passing last year.  It�s a great read, shedding new

light on the   assassination of JFK.

Order it here 

 Clear Chanel board

And, long time pal Ted Atkins, a programmer of

 several giant radio stations during his career, has been

putting the finishing touches to his remembrance of

Phil Spector that will be presented on this website

in the near future.


Clear Channel has decided that �Less is More�

will not bring in the revenue needed to pay the $400

million they have promised Rush Limbaugh. They�ll be

adding some additional commercials to Rush�s show

 with a �More is More� theme extended to other time

periods as well.


The number one subject on Talk Radio is the spiraling

price of gasoline now passed the $4.00 a gallon mark in

the states. Double that price if you are in England,

France, Norway and Belgium or escape the escalating

cost of gas by traveling to Venezuela where its

12 cents a gallon.


Direct mail providers are lobbying in several states

against the move to create �Do Not Mail� programs

similar to the one that limits telephone marketers.

Proponents estimate almost 6 million tons of direct

mailings annually cost tax payers millions to dispose

of and  require 100 million trees to be cut. Radio

could benefit from an increase in advertising

if direct mail is limited.




Left Behind ?


I find it interesting how the print media, suffering

major losses in circulation and advertising revenue

 and long known to ignore radio, has not only begun to

rely on radio programmers for guidance but  are also

forming alliances they hope will cushion their demise.  


With the exception of the expert coverage of Chicago

area broadcasting by Robert Feder at the Sun Times,

very few newspapers deem local radio and television

important enough to be reported. But with the drop

 in circulation in my own area the editors of the

 Spokane Spokesman-Review have now awakened

to proudly gush about being a participant in the

programming of one of the town�s news/talk facilities.


             Robert Feder     Randy Michaels          Lee Abrams


Now-a-days with newspaper circulation in a deadfall,

columnist and editors at the Tribune Corporation

have suddenly found themselves taking direction from

radio programming wizards Randy Michaels

and Lee Abrams.


The immediacy advantage of the electronic media has

now moved to the Internet. With WiFi challenging

terrestrial and satellite radio, video on the web via

U-Tube and others are doing the same to television.

 In a society of non-readers the newspaper is fast

becoming the dinosaur of media.


In the years before broadband and certainly since,

the importance of the internet was predicted by many

but few more of a visionary than radio�s Bob Hamilton.

 In our conversations of more than a dozen years ago,

 he forecast exactly what we are experiencing today.


             Bob Hamilton     Rollye James    Jerry Del Colliano  


Bob, along with radio talk show host Rollye James and

Jerry Del Colliano often jump start my brain. Each

excel in various area�s that converge to remove the

blinders that clog ones mind. Broadcast and the print

media both would have benefited early on by

inviting their input.


The past provides many lessons for the future.

 Those who combine it with the technology of today

 and tomorrow will be successful. Those who don�t

 will be left behind.




Chrysler introduces WiFi Radio

The Future is NOW



Starting this fall, Chrysler will offer wireless WiFi

in all 09 models. Called UConnect, it brings the

internet to consumers along with thousands of

radio stations worldwide, e-mail, games and even

the ability to upload pictures.


For local AM & FM radio stations, who have long

claimed a captured audience of consumers in cars,

they will now have more than just satellite radio as

competitors. As we have  been saying for some time ,

 WiFi radio is the  future.  


Those terrestrial radio receivers,  HD radio,

satellite radio  and tower sites will soon be obsolete

 with the information superhighway now available

everywhere, at home and away.


The first such technology from any automaker,

Chrysler's UConnect includes 32-number phone

book feature  and  voice-dialing. Its also  available

 as a dealer-installed retrofit for models back to 1994.


Thirty million Americans now listen to

 radio off the Internet each week, most via their

computer speakers, but that�s about to change

drastically now that WiFi receivers allow

users access without even having your PC on.



The return of Top 40 WLS


In resurrecting the WLS call letters for Citadel�s

WZZN-fm we can only hope the programming will take

advantage of the history that goes with the name.

Beginning in the 1960�s WLS captured a huge audience,

often with more listeners than all other Chicago

 stations combined.


Programming what was �popular,� not limiting the

music to just rock, WLS introduced a vast variety of music

that ranged from the melodic #1 instrumentals

of Percy Faith, Bert Kaempfert, Aker Bilk and Paul

Mauriat with a foreign language chart topper  by Japan�s

Kyu Sakamoto, novelty hits from the Hollywood Argyles

and Bobby �Boris� Pickett. Rockers Elvis Presley,

Chubby Checker, Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and

the Beatles all came from the 60�s, an era largely ignored

by programmers today who foolishly limit the music and

hide the term �oldies� from their branding.  Encouraged

by advertising agency's, "oldies" is being replaced

 in favor of "classic hits."  Now I ask, when was the last

time you heard a listener describe an "oldies" format

 as  "classic hits?"  


Reaching the prized 25-54 demo plus a giant slice of

baby boomers can deliver a big cume that turns into

success for WLS-fm and it can be done by sparingly

spotlighting some  hits of the early 60�s that WLS-am

 first introduced to millions. Limiting the music only

limits the number of listeners. Let's hope WLS-fm is

truly a great "oldies" station that takes advantage of the

vast musical library Chicagoans grew up hearing.  


WLS-fm would be wise to offer the �wow� factor, a

pleasant surprise in its presentation of �oldies.�

General Manager Mike Fowler declares, �we�re going to

develop this into the top 40 WLS of old.� Today that

station is remembered for being a leader in both its role

 in breaking the hits and offering unique on-air

personalities. Theirs a lot for WLS-fm to learn from

its big sister WLS-am.


We wish them well and look forward to WLS-fm

recapturing the spirit and the ratings of its namesake.





Lujack & Friends


John Cravens, John Gehron, Jeff Trumper,

Larry Lujack,  John Rook  &  Don Bouloukos


Uncle Lar returned with Tommy Edwards,

John Records Landecker and others to star in the

WLS Memorial Day Rewind.


A reminder of why we all love him,  see

Janet Davies of WLS-TV interview Larry here


Hall of Fame inductee Lujack has made it quite clear to

me during our conversations that he isn�t ready to hang

up the earphones and as Chicago Sun Times columnist

Robert Feder reports here, retirement isn�t setting

well for Superjock.


My suggestion - Lujack's star would shine

brightly with the WGN line up.



NEW on
Jack Armstrong, Ron O'Brien,
KFI Los Angeles, November 20, 1980 NOW presents
this rare listening treat featuring
two of America's greatest
radio performers.

WOGL in Philadelphia honors Big Ron O�Brien by

 naming the main studio at the station in his name.  

The top rated CBS owned facility also provides a

 tribute to Big Ron here.



WiFi � Radio�s Future


�Is it anywhere near Des Moines?� was the question

asked 25 years ago as I announced my intention to move

from the madness of major market life to a more serene

existence in rural Idaho. It didn�t really surprise me

that most had no idea where Idaho was and confused

it with Iowa. 


Though I had grown up in small town Nebraska, it

would be a cultural shock to me in many ways. While

 I appreciated the �escape� from what I projected would

be the Los Angeles of today, I also missed some of what

 I had left behind. In time thousands of Californians

would follow my path, mindful of what had driven

them away from what was once thought to be a life in

paradise, they too came seeking a better life for

themselves and their families. In more recent years

retail stores and services not here when I arrived now

provide  virtually everything I once missed. Some

friends came  to visit only to return and now call Idaho

�home.�  Two decades later the only thing missing for me

is my love of the Pacific ocean and the unpolluted

 beaches  that once were.


The marvel of modern day technology, satellite delivered

TV and the internet now allows me to live in my own

little sliver of paradise and still be in contact with the

cities I once called home and the dozens of locations I

had visited in my many years as a radio consultant

 and in my travels nationally.  Instantly I can watch

local television  from distant cities or listen to radio

that was until recently thought to be unavailable.


No longer am I saddled with fewer than a dozen �local�

radio stations, that in reality are no longer �local� but

distributors of nationally syndicated programming.

WiFi, with its delivery of thousands of radio stations

and hundreds of internet offerings, has really

greatly expanded my radio menu.


Given the limited number of �local� stations available

 to me, I had mistakenly considered radio hardly worth

turning on. Not true with my discovery of WiFi.


I keep tellin' ya...the future for radio is WiFi.   


Larry Lujack, John Rook



Larry's acceptance speech is here

 Thanks to the New Radio Star



Several dozen long time pals greeted me at the

 Las Vegas affair�


John Rook,  Erica Farber


 As CEO and Publisher of Radio & Records, Erica is

one of the industry's most influential leaders and

also serves on the nominating committee of the

Hit Parade Hall of Fame. 


Bob "Doc" Fuller,  John Rook,  John Gehron


Two long time friends of more than 30 years.  Honored

during the NAB convention with a 2008 Pioneer Award

presented by the Broadcasters Foundation,

 Bob is  more of what radio needs today.


John Gehron followed me as program director at WLS

and with a exemplary  career is now General Manager

 of Harpo Radio, Inc., Oprah Winfrey�s radio interests.

He also serves on the nominating committee of the

Hit Parade Hall of Fame.



John Rook,  Tommy Edwards


Larry's long time side kick Tommy produced

the tribute introducing Super Jock Lujack at the

 NAB Hall of Fame luncheon.


John Rook,  Don Bouloukos


Another long time friend of our days at ABC radio,

 Don has a long successful track record of top

management in the radio industry.



John Rook,  Bob Hamilton


 A friend of forty years, Bob interviews my right hand,

Jason Rook about the Hit Parade Hall of Fame

on the  New Radio Star  website.

 click here



Lujack Inducted at NAB Radio

Hall of Fame


Larry Lujack

With a standing ovation before and after, it was Lujack,

no teleprompter, no script, his usual off the cuff

comments keeping a full house in stitches with an

original, natural down home spin reminiscent of the

charm of a modern day Will Rogers.


Using content most would overlook, Ol Lar�s sarcastic

comedic routine poked fun at the NAB, at those who

benefited from his genius over the years and most of all

himself as he blended his experiences covering a fifty

year career into a monolog that brought hilarious

flashbacks to those of us who were fortunate enough

to have had him on our team. 


John Gehron,  Larry Lujack,  John Rook


Not at all comfortable in his acceptance of them,

 Larry Lujack has now added the NAB Hall of Fame

 tribute to those from the Illinois Broadcasters in 2002

and the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.



Larry Lujack


Meeting for the first time forty years ago, it would be

 a friendship that would continue to this day.


In 1967 Larry and I were both new to Chicago. Starting

our radio careers ten years earlier in small Idaho and

Wyoming communities, we both had about the same

number of stops learning our craft before arriving

in Chicago, he as talent and me as the program

director of WLS.


It was perhaps the most fun either of us would have in

radio as the station leaped to the top of the ratings with

Lawrence of Chicago, the station�s quarterback in

afternoon drive on the Big 89.


A few years later he would accept my invitation to join

 me at WCFL, where SuperJock and SuperCFL merged

to add more stripes to his sleeve.


Hailed as one of Chicago's most renowned radio

personalities, Larry has been inducted into both the

Illinois Broadcasters Association's Hall of Fame in

2002 and the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.

It will be with great pride that I join him in Las Vegas

on April 15th as he is inducted into the NAB radio

Hall of Fame.


Larry sez, �Gheez, had I known it was this big of a

 deal I would have put a little more effort into my show�.




Chicago Radio Legend dies


A native buckeye, he arrived in Chicago and WGN in

1956 where he ruled morning drive in the windy city

 for almost two decades. Wally Phillips was the

undisputed king of morning radio often with more

listeners than all other Chicago stations combined.


Using the telephone and comedic genius Wally Phillips

interacted with listeners and was considered a

member of the family by most Chicagoans.


In 1997 Wally Phillips was inducted into the

National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.


At 82 years of age, having battled Alzheimer�s disease

 for several years, on Thursday, March 27th,

Wally Phillips died at his home in Naples, Florida.


The WGN Wally archives are here





Porky Leaves Pittsburgh


Once plagued with the soot and smoke of the worlds steel

industry, Pittsburgh was also headquarters for more of

the world�s top 100 companies than any other city in

 the nation. In recent years where the Allegheny and

Monongahela Rivers meet to form the Ohio River the

city has achieved the honor of being named

�America�s most livable city.�


Fifty years ago, it was also where many recording stars

were discovered and sent on the road to worldwide

acclaim by Pittsburgh radio. As program director of

 KQV in those days, (more here)  it was not uncommon

 for the daily visits of celebrities eager to thank the

�Groovy QV� disc jockeys and other local radio

personalities for their part in opening the

 curtain of success.

                                                                                                            Porky Chedwick  -  Chuck Brinkman  -  Clark Race


Among the cities top disc jockeys were Porky Chedwick,

Chuck Brinkman and Clark Race. They alone were

responsible for introducing stardom for more recording

stars than anyone. Our friend Clark Race is no longer

among us. Chuck continues on the air in Dallas, Texas

 and Porky, certainly the river city�s best known

 platter pusher has at 90 years of age now left

for retirement in Florida.


Pittsburghers will miss Porky in person, but even

 though  he and wife Jeanie will be soaking up the sun

don't be surprised due to the marvel of today's

technology if  "The Daddio of the Raddio" isn't heard

 from time to time on the Pittsburgh airwaves. 

= = = = =




Fair Fairness Doctrine ?


As a broadcast owner two dozen years ago I was

nominated by President Reagan�s close friend, Senator

Paul Laxalt of Nevada to be an FCC commissioner. In the

process hundreds of radio managers and owners wrote

 the administration supporting me resulting in my being

interviewed by White House chief of staff Howard Baker

and by Senators Jessie Helms and Ted Kennedy.


As the Governor of California I had met Ronald Reagan

earlier when I leased the home of Ed & Jean Reinecke,

the Lt. Governor and his wife. I greatly admired Reagan

and would have probably supported him in most areas

except for his desire to end the Fairness Doctrine.


While Reagan was blocked from filling any FCC

commission opening in retaliation for his support of

Ollie North�s Central America battle with the

Sandinistas, the Fairness Doctrine had seemed

�fair� to me and upon saying so during my interviews

in the nations capitol, it was clear that view wasn�t

what the White House wanted from a prospective

 FCC commissioner. 


I remember flying home to my Idaho paradise with a

sigh of relief. I would never have been comfortable

 in Washington D.C.


Finally the broadcast lobby in their drive to

deregulate the industry did get the Fairness

Doctrine removed setting the way for radio to

police themselves with fewer voices and a handful

of  owners guided less by a need to serve the public 

and more by their desire to make money. 


"Free enterprise" sounds great, but I have first

hand experience of being driven out of the radio

ownership by those who without enforced guidelines

 will overreach gobbling up everything they can.


Imagine if you will no laws on the roadways with

everyone allowed to drive as they see fit.   


Now the pendulum is swinging with the Fairness Doctrine

once again being considered. I�ve discussed it time and

time again with several of my talk show host friends, who

have a differing view.  Frankly many of them have been

giving  "equal time" very successfully. It will certainly

continue to be a subject of interest as we near what

could be a totally democrat dominated congress.



Johnny Rivers

Al was first discovered by our old friend Johnny Rivers

in the late 60�s. Johnny�s fans are giving him a big

boost as  a 2007 nominee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

 He credits our days at KQV in the 60�s for breaking his

giant hit �Memphis� and ushering in a very successful

 career of numerous top ten hits. Vote for him now.



Connie Francis

2007 inductee Connie Francis telephoned as did 2008

Hit Parade Hall of Fame nominee�s Andy Kim and

Freddy �Boom Boom� Cannon.

Freddy Cannon


Rocker Freddy with "Tallahassee Lassie", "Way Down

Yonder In New Orleans" & "Palisades Park" had more

 than two dozen rides on the Hit Parade and

Canadian Andy Kim created the monster hit

 �Sugar, Sugar� along with chart toppers

�Baby, I Love You� and �Rock Me Gently.�  


Andy Kim


One of the great song writers of all time,

Andy shares some of his latest creations

with me....WOW !  Great material, now

if only he and others like him could find

exposure on radio these days.


Fans voting at the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in

2008 have thus far exceeded last year's tally at this

stage in the voting.  66,000 voted to induct 28

hit makers from the 1950 through 1980 era.



Introducing Jerry


Jerry Del Colliano


In recent days many have mentioned their appreciation

of our linking them to Inside Music Media.


Jerry Del Colliano is a media visionary who was raised

in the trenches of Philadelphia radio before venturing

into the publishing arena in the mid 70�s with his

Inside Radio that would become must reading for radio

management, not only for the latest news but for his

commentary  on the industry.


In the 90�s, warning of radio�s rush into deregulation,

he was labeled a maverick by those who would benefit

from his demise. In a David vs. Goliath litigation battle

his nemesis bought Inside Radio with a pledge for

Jerry to remain silent for a few years while they

continued with plans to gobble up the industry


The high cost of my own antitrust litigation pitting me

against the combination of two Goliath�s had a different

ending but did encourage me to speak out against

deregulation that spawned a monopolization of both

radio and the music industries. For several years most

were blinded by their desire to overreach, merging was

good, until finally in recent times even the biggest of

the big began to accept less is more.


No longer bound by an order to remain silent, I was

delighted when my old friend Jerry returned with an

undaunted vision for both the radio and the music

industry. I know from first hand experience his daily

commentary isn�t for financial gain, but rather is a

thought provoking probe, a dose of the truth, while

not always appreciated by some, certainly respected

 by most judging from those I hear from.


To have introduced him to some is our distinct pleasure.  

We regularly offer a link to Jerry�s Inside Music Media

because he deserves your attention



Preparing for the Future


As our government ignored the plight of vast portions of

our nation�s population by insisting any downturn in the

economy was merely a �blip� and blamed the media for

fanning the flames of a recession, the voices of those

hurting most was being heard on talk radio.


With a torrent of warning signs flooding down, it was not

until the credit dam broke that government suddenly

recognized there was a crisis and began to take

�emergency� actions to plug what they term �a leak,�

but in reality is not unlike the destruction  Katrina

unleashed on New Orleans.


As the readily availability of talk radio gave a megaphone

to those displaced by plant closings, of families forced

from their homes and unable to afford the rapidly

escalation of food prices, of truckers who no longer can

afford the high cost of fuel to transport food, including

the merchandise for retail consumption, our government

finally began to react to a crisis that due to lack of early

action can only get worse.


I often find disappointment in the lack of historical

awareness of today�s talk show hosts.  Most aren�t old

enough to have actually experienced the stressful,

difficult  condition�s that existed during the 1930's

and 40's and are ill equipped to tell the story of

what Americans of that generations experienced.

Given  the need to tell the story, talk radio could

benefit from guests who actually lived it.


 In a society that has shown a disregard for reading,

of expecting an instantaneous response to most

everything, talk radio hosts can best make an

unsuspecting public aware of what the

 future will bring by telling them of the past.


Knowing the past is the best preparation for the future.



Mark                Lowry                Mel


With despair etched deep in the faces of Mark and

 Lowry Mays, a totally different expression of elation

 and confidence beams from the face of Mel Karmazin.


Plagued by hurdles and delays in their attempt to

unload a faltering Clear Channel, banker turned

broadcaster Lowry Mays and his son are faced with the

media company's sale on the brink of collapse as the

private equity firms leading the $19.5 billion buyout

were having difficulty reaching terms with the banks

committed to financing the deal.


As anguish surrounded the Clear Channel compound

in Texas, it was the opposite for the charismatic pied

piper of the Sirus-XM satellite merger.   Battling those

 who once kissed his ring, the NAB and terrestrial

broadcast owners, Mel Karmazin�s plans for a merger

received Department of Justice approval and now

 seems almost assured in the weeks ahead.


Only a few said the charismatic Karmazin would be

successful when the proposed merger of Sirus and

XM was first announced in early 2007.  At the same

 time the collapse of Clear Channel was predicted due

 to their domineering arrogance and lack of leadership.


It�s the difference between being a banker

 . . . . or a salesman.



6 Banks Are Sued in Clear Channel Deal here



�Your Leeeeeeeee�der� dies


Jack Armstrong


His top 40 radio career is truly legendary.

Radio listeners in dozens of cities, from Toronto to

Miami, Boston to Los Angeles and many cities in

 between were fans of Jack Armstrong, one of the most

energetic, exciting air personalities ever.


Having appreciated his talent from the start of his

career, I hired him for afternoons at KFI in the early 80�s.

In the years since we talked often, as recently as a month

ago. He was despondent over the state of his career.

Always eager to be on the air, radio no longer had an

opening for his high energy top forty performance.


Jack Armstrong died on Saturday at 62 years of age,

the day before Easter at his High Point,

North  Carolina home.


Rollye James has a more complete report on our

 friend Jack Armstrong here.    


From the John Rook collection at

listen to Jack Armstrong on KFI from

Feb. 1980 here


Jack's secret of success, "it wasn't work."

Watch him at WIXY-Cleveland in 1988 here



�The Wages of Spin�



Dick Clark


Friends and industry insiders advise of an up coming

television documentary being planned about the

recording industry of the late 50�s and 60�s in

 the final stages of production at PBS.


When aired it is expected to concentrate on the red

 hot city of Philadelphia  during a time when Dick Clark�s

American Bandstand broadcasting live each weekday

exercised great power over the careers of many recording

artists in that era.  


Said to be a no holds barred look at how the system

worked -- the rules of the game -- how careers were

created or shattered, depending on one's willingness

 to play, this expose will air  what has long been talked

about in private  by industry insiders but unreported

to the  public at large.   



�Cha Cha Cha Changes�


Lee Abrams


His media contributions are well known and legendary,

preparing him for perhaps the most important task he

 has ever faced, that of reversing what he terms the

�junk culture� our society has been increasingly

spoon fed by the media for many years.


Intrigued as a teenager, Lee was bitten by the Chicago

radio bug in the 60�s. A few years later, I just missed

 hiring him as program director of Miami�s Y-100.

The job had already been given to a young programmer

from Mississippi, Bill Tanner, who became the architect

 of that stations success.  Lee & his partner Kent Burkhart,

offered stiff competition to my John Rook & Associates

consultancy in the 70�s.


As a broadcast owner in the 80�s, I proudly presented

Lee�s Z-Rock format and in the 90's I applauded his

introduction of XM Satellite radio.


To me, recorded music was at its zenith in the 1970�s.

Growing bored with it ten years later, I eagerly accepted

the responsibility of programming the nations top talk

facility, KABC.  Talk radio was bland, "not playing the

hits," it was in need of excitement and change.


I felt certain my vision of a fast paced news/talk format,

geared to programming the �hits� of the hour would

revolutionize the format. With some colorful creativity,

a willingness to experiment and change, radio�s

instantaneous delivery provided a great advantage

over all other media.  I could hear it in my head but

for the very first time in my programming career

I was unable to bring my dream about.


Perhaps it was my youthful persistence that allowed me

to successfully bring change in the 60�s and 70�s to other

�established� stations such as KQV, WLS and KFI.  But

 at KABC in the 1980�s and me into my fifties, my patience

waned and I no longer had the desire to fight the fight

what would bring about change.  Movement was so slow

I simply grew tired of long meetings where in my

estimation, little was accomplished.  Previously in my

career, a program director was seldom challenged.

Sales was totally separate and had little if any input

into programming. Listening to and directing the

programming was a 24/7 responsibility, with time

 spent behind the desk or in meetings minimal.

That era was coming to a close as Wall Street

and sales management began to put the cart

in front of the horse.


 Despite being asked to  reconsider my decision, I

resigned and returned to my little sliver of paradise in

Idaho.  The programming fire in my belly would continue

as a consultant to talk radio, but the stamina to argue

over and over with those unreceptive in this new era of

sales management control of programming diminished

my previous enthusiasm 


My younger friend Larry Lujack has invited me to join

 him in Las Vegas as he will be inducted into the NAB

Hall of Fame next month.  I recently ask him if he had

any misgivings of his semi retirement from radio.

 �I still have one more chapter left in me,� he said.


And so I would suspect it is for Lee Abrams who will

now return to his home town of Chicago to an exciting

challenge at the Tribune Corporation. It will be a

multifaceted adventure that will require great expertise.

Now in his mid-fifties, Lee has his work cut out for him.

He will be faced with a wall of resistance. Change will not

come easy for those set in their beliefs and ways.


Rising from the programming ranks himself, Tribune

CEO Randy Michaels has picked the right man,

 Lee Abrams,  to help him bring  much needed

�Cha Cha Cha Changes�  to the Tribune Corporation


I wish them success.



Aretha, Queen of Soul


Aretha Franklin�s 1927 Detroit home is in foreclosure

for non payment of $445 in 2005 taxes with $18,746 in

back taxes and fees dating back to 2006 also due.

Valued at more than $700,000, the mansion abuts

the north course of the Detroit Golf Club

on Hamilton Road.


Paul McCartney


Shown leaving court, a haggard Paul McCartney, after

not quite four years of marriage,  will be paying Heather

Mills almost $50 million in a divorce settlement. 


She was demanding more than double that amount but

after a court review of Sir Paul's assets showed his net

worth was considerably below a rumored one billion

dollar fortune, the lesser amount was awarded.     



                                                                                                                            Larry Craig                Eliot Spitzer


What Goes Around�


The same wire tapping he used to bring down others has

been used to bring down the Governor of New York, who

 is expected to end a political career much like that

of Idaho�s Senator Larry Craig.   


No sooner has the Craig fiasco begin to peter out when

talk radio once again has been given days if not weeks

of fodder by New York Governor Eliott Spitzer and

perhaps other politician�s who are about to be named

in a federal indictment.


We all remember Larry, whose wide stance finally

outed him after years of speculation that he was just a

little too righteous in his view of alternative lifestyles.


Now we have �Mr. Morality,� the cocky former Attorney

General of New York, Eliott Spitzer, who rode the

prosecution of prostitutes and other law breakers into

the governor�s mansion, accused of soliciting the

 services of a high priced prostitute while conducting

business in the nation�s capitol.


Unlike Senator Craig, who continues to embarrass

Idahoans by his insistence on staying in office until his

term ends, Governor Spitzer has resigned immediately

to lessen the residents of New York the memory of

another politician caught in the web of hypocrisy.     



Jack Swanson    Melanie Morgan    Mickey Luckoff


KSFO morning co-host Melanie Morgan is out

 in the belt tightening ordered by Citadel CEO

 Farid Suleman.  She is wife of the nation�s most

 successful radio programmer, Jack Swanson of

 San Francisco�s KGO, a KSFO sister station. 

Faced with having to make the cuts ordered by

 commander Suleman, the very popular Melanie 

was tossed overboard the sinking USS Citadel .     


Word has it Melanie's husband, a top member

of the Bay City Citadel/ABC management team

learned of his wife's termination at the company

from her, after she had been shown the door.   


Jack is a real pro with the longest running streak of

 #1 rating�s in radio history at KGO, but one must

 wonder just how long he and super manager

Mickey Lukoff  will stay at the Citadel/ABC helm

in San Francisco.


If and when they grow tired of being micro managed

by Suleman, who has no real experience other than

that of a bean counter, no one could blame them for

jumping ship at KGO, the last remained gem in the

 once proud ABC group of stations.  ABC managers

are protected by a clause in the Disney/Citadel

 sale agreement that would make it very unlikely

 they would leave on their own accord at this time,

the severance could be too expensive for Citadel,

especially now.


Can removing Melanie from mornings at KSFO

signal Farid Suleman's intention to give that slot

to Don Imus ? 



Citadel Blood Bath

USS Citadel Sinking


As the stock of Citadel continues to slide, slide, slide

to the basement, the long anticipated �blood bath� is

about to begin  as company CEO Farid Suleman goes

public blaming his nightmare primarily on the radio

management Citadel inherited in taking over the

ABC/Disney radio stations in San Francisco;

Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Atlanta; New York;

Dallas and Los Angeles.


Suleman warns, �The time for talk is over and it is now

time for the walk� as he calls for �management changes,

format changes & programming changes� at the stations.


Up until Wall Street companies took control of radio,

it survived economic downturns while other media

supported by advertising dollars floundered.

Radio was the cost effective way to reach

consumers until radio people were flushed out of

the business by deregulation and the desire to

monopolize dramatically increased advertising rates

that radio's new owners thought would service the

debt on over valued radio facilities.


Arrogant incompetent management focusing on

 revenue instead of product did much to bring

about the collapse of radio.  


 If  Farid Suleman has any expertise, it's in the

 financial arena.  He had every opportunity to

 examine the books and project the future

in his pursuit to add the ABC facilities to his

Citadel group of medium market stations.

That was his responsibility , he over reached

and the ABC managers Citadel will need

now more than ever, must pay the price

for his blunder.    


The USS Citadel is sinking about as fast as its

stock, down a whopping 87% in just the past year.

Following the blood bath, can a fire sale of the

company�s assets be next ?



Clear Channel WiFi-less


Once again the corporate clowns at Clear Channel have

decided to throw their weight around by removing all

of  the group�s radio stations from WiFi receivers.  

The same kind of dollars & cents logic that has helped

bring Clear Channel to its knee�s, we can only hope when

and if the equity partners take over they will make

changes in the top management of Clear Channel radio.


Meanwhile virtually all of the other groups and

thousands of stations continue to be heard

on WiFi around the world. 



The Web is it


The move to the internet continues with the latest

research indicating nearly half of all Americans now

 say their primary source of news and information is

the web. That�s a 10% increase in just the past year as

 less than a third use television, 11% count on radio

 and 10% still rely on newspapers. A whopping 64% are

dissatisfied with the amount of news coverage offered

 by local sources.



Setting the Record Straight


Until recent years the name of the trade publication

�Radio & Records� was an example of just how the two

industries coexisted as one in creating new recording

artists with both radio and records benefiting from each

other in offering an excitement that was a magnet for

radio listeners and music fans.


In creating the Hit Parade Hall of Fame many long

time friends in both radio and the record business have

continued an association we have enjoyed for decades.

The organization is blessed with a wealth of knowledge

from a sensational  Nominating Committee

 I also personally hear regularly from executives, 

 on-air performers and recording stars whose talent

contributed greatly to my success in radio

over fifty years.


Our communication with each other is much like it

 always has been, enjoyable as we often laugh of past

memories when the radio and the recording industries

flourished and discuss the current state of affairs of the

two industries that these days seem so distant in their

appreciation of each other.  


It�s not unusual for someone to make me aware of an

 error either in the print or broadcast media pertaining

to the great stars of the recording industry. Thus, we

will endeavor to correct these mistakes as they are

brought to the attention of this website.


Clicking on the various links can be a rewarding

experience in providing a past memory for some and

hopefully a learning experience for others.


                                                                                                                       Walter Brennan     Elvis Presley


Hit Parade Hall of Fame inductee Pat Boone�s father

in-law, Red Foley , wrote and first hit with his

recording  of �Old Shep� in the late 1940�s.

Recently the �American Profile� Sunday magazine

supplement gave credit to Walter Brennan for

 recording of this song instead of Red Foley or even

 2007 Hit Parade Hall of Fame inductee Elvis Presley�s

1956 recording of �Old Shep.�


Walter Brennan didn't have a hit single of

 �Old Shep� but he did have a top five hit

 with �Old Rivers� in 1962.


                                                                                                         Patsy Cline    Connie Francis

Attn: Randy Jackson of American Idol:

Where the Boys Are was not a �country hit by

Patsy Cline,� a 2007 nominee of the Hit Parade Hall

of Fame,� but a chart topping pop hit in 1961 by the

nations number one female singer, Connie Francis

who was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame

 in 2007.    



                                                                                                        Chuck Berry      Fats Domino 

Attn: Phil Keating of Fox News:

Blue Berry Hill was not �a hit by Chuck Berry,�

 a 2007 nominee  to the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, instead

it was a #1 pop hit for Fats Domino in 1956 who was

inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.   

While Fat�s Domino�s version of the song is best known

today, it was first introduced by Gene Autry in the 1940

western movie �The Singing Hills� and was a chart

topper by Glenn Miller and Russ Morgan in that year.




                                                                                                   Lorne Greene       Jimmy Dean 

Attn: Bill O�Reilly of Fox News

Big Bad John was not �a hit by Bonanza�s

Lorne Greene,� but was a #1 pop hit in 1961 for

Jimmy Dean  who is a 2008 nominee at the

 Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

Not to be confused with the chart topping

 "Big Bad John," Lorne Greene did have a

 #1 hit, "Ringo" in 1964.




It brings back memories of my youth when many a

night was spent glued to my grandpa�s floor model

Zenith radio listening to WSM�s Grand Ole Opry,

still locally on the air all these years later in Nashville,

nationally on XM satellite and world wide via

subscription free WiFi radio.


At a time when most anything older than twenty years

 is considered obsolete by radio programmers, WSM

reaches deep into a vault of treasured music and

performances for its programming on a daily basis.   


The clock is turned back as great stars, with their

distinguished voices largely forgotten by radio today,

are exclusively broadcast on WSM. 


It�s entertaining for millions who lived during the

 eighty year history of the station and educational

for generations in the future. 


Starting out as the WSM Barn Dance the station

 played  a major role in bringing  joy to Americans at a

time when dollars for entertainment  was scarce for

families during  the great depression, as did WLS in

Chicago with its National Barn Dance and  the

 Louisiana Hayride on KWKH in Shreveport.


In today's copy cat world of  radio, AM stations

are relegated to talk programming, but not

in WSM's case, where the big hits of country music

history are proudly programmed successfully

against Nashville's other big AM station, WLAC

with a News/Talk format. WSM's ratings are ahead

of ten fm stations serving the Nashville market.      


With a wealth of historic radio programming to draw

from in their archives and the rich musical heritage of

country music,  WSM and the Grand Ole Opry

 are not only "Nashville's Country Legend,"

they are a national treasure.



Illustrating the decline facing print publications,

the 103 year old Hollywood trade publication Variety

with annual revenue totaling an estimated $100

million has been put on the auction block by

Reed Publications who also owns Broadcasting

 & Cable and Publishers Weekly.



Fans of the Carpenter�s are hoping to prevent

the demolition of the home on Newville Ave. in

Downey, California where Karen Carpenter lived

and died that was featured on the 1973 album

 cover of �Now and Then�.


Now in her 60�s and coming out of a brief retirement,

Cher returns to Las Vegas to perform four shows a week

at the at Caesars Palace Coliseum for a month

 beginning May 6th and again in October�for $60 million.





Hit Parade Hall of Fame nominee, Andy Williams,

will be the recipient of the 17th Annual ELLA Award by

the Society of Singers at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

on May 19, 2008.  Glen Campbell, Petula Clark,

 Steve Lawrence, Monica Mancini, Barry Manilow,

Johnny Mathis and the Gregg Field Orchestra will be

among the performers.

Previous recipients of the ELLA Award include

 Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne,

 Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Placido

Domingo, Celine Dion and Elton John.


Named after Ella Fitzgerald, the ELLA Award is given

to singers whose significant musical accomplishments

 are equaled by their dedication to charitable and

humanitarian causes both local and international.


= = = =

Eddie Cochran


Worldwide fans of my friend Eddie Cochran will be   

excited to know a motion picture of his life could be in

the works this year.

And speaking of the big screen, another long time pal

who brought Hoffa� to the screen is producing another

blockbuster about the life of "Lucky" Luciano.

Bill Gavin's wisdom

It was a lesson radio learned back in the mid 60�s

when the so called British invasion landed in the states.

In just one year thirty hit Beatles singles joined at least

a dozen other UK acts flooding the airwaves in the

 states as programmers aimed at teenagers

discovering transistor radios.


Seeking to cash in on the excitement, several American

acts did their best to copy the English tidal wave in

appearance and sound.  Within a year the first wake

 up call was noticed as radio ratings began to show a

decline in adult radio listeners.


Programming czar Bill Gavin reminded of the need

for variety as he suggested radio include Frank Sinatra,

Tony Bennett, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, the

Supremes, Bobby Vinton, the Temptations and other

distinctly American acts with those from England.

 Gavin, a model for good manners and class, always

urged a variety in programming. It was essential for

success during radio�s golden years when the rock of

 Elvis, the country of the Browns and the spiritual of

the Mormon Tabernacle Choir gave variety to radio

as each had big hit singles.   


Now-a-days, political foes of conservative talk show

 hosts demonstrated delight at radio�s recent inability

to deliver votes for various candidates. Burnout

rendered dozens of Rush wannabe�s ineffective as

 talkers buried listeners in liberal vs. conservative

banter, shouting down and belittling those with

opposing views.


 Dialing around the nation via my WiFi radio it seemed

obvious to me, even though we are in an election year,

 talk radio would benefit from some of Bill Gavin�s

wisdom with variety in the subject matter and a break

from the constant �in your face� harassment.  


I�ve referred to him before, but talk show hosts could

learn from Charley Jones at KRLD in Dallas, a master

at being respectful to others and a gentleman who

covers a variety of subjects including politics.  He�s a

ray of sunshine in the Texas Overnight.


Radio, eager to take credit for selling a clients product,

could do as much in selling good manners and in

offering a variety to the airwaves, would break the

monotony of political negativity.    


Call it Bill Gavin's wisdom.    



Finished - No, Diminished - Yes

                                           Jim Cramer


Now that Jim Cramer�s syndicated program has been

cancelled, he sez radio is now dead - finished here. 


Radio finished?  No - though substantially diminished

by the desire to place sales ahead of product by operators

like Clear Channel�s founder Lowry Mays who early on

         demonstrated his banker mentality by stating: We're not in the business of providing news and information. "We're not in the business of providing news and

information. We're not in the business of providing

well-researched music. We're simply in the business

of selling our customers products."


With Mays gobbling up hundreds of prime radio facilities

along with the nation�s largest radio syndicator,

 Premiere  Radio, at the expense of local programming

many operators bought into the cost saving sea of

sameness syndication delivers.    


Syndicated programming isn�t something new. It was

common until independent operators fifty years ago

toppled the network titans with local personalities,

 local news and gave full attention to their local



Today the stars of syndication are many. Certainly they

entertain and provide a wealth of experience and

information not necessarily available locally.  The smart

operator though adds local programming and news,

especially in the medium and small markets where

listeners are largely underserved since deregulation.    


Radio's future is in your hands, invest in it now.


Memo to Mel Karmazin


Mel Karmazin


In your Charlie Rose interview you state

 "AM radio started in 1928 in Pittsburgh at KDKA"

Here's a tip from someone who believes it's

important history isn't rewritten with the wrong

information.  Coming from Mel Karmazin, the former

 head honcho of CBS radio, you may want to make note,

KDKA began broadcasting in 1920 and a year

earlier, AM station 8ZAE, later known as KQV

was on the air in the Steel City in 1919.



Me to George, me too !


Now that the radio industry has taken major steps at

pruning overhead, certainly more employees can be

expected to join the unemployment ranks as Citadel

and others also are expected to look for a quick way to

improve a sour bottom line


Even more expense could be shaved by dismissing those

charged with preparing the cluttered top management

statements that announced the cuts by combining the

exact excuses given by Clear Channel, Emmis and CBS

in much fewer words along these lines:


�We are operating in a different environment and thus

need an adjustment as an expense reduction effort to

better position the company, deploying our assets to

best grow our ratings and monetize the results.�


Over the past several months I�ve heard from dozens

who have been terminated, some with stories of how

severance dollars were far less than they had been

led to believe they would receive.


It�s a sad time for an industry I proudly enjoyed being a

part of for five decades. As one Los Angeles manager

 with a lifetime of radio behind him said,

�I�m just glad I�m not in it anymore.�


Me to George, me too !




 Randall, Mark & Lowry


To:  All Clear Channel Radio Managers


Effective immediately pull all on-air promotional

announcements recruiting additional personnel.


Clear Channel no longer offers an exciting career for

employees with a selection of competitive benefits,

a full medical plan and advancement in the

exciting radio industry.


In addition cut all research monies, advertising and

promotional monies, new hires not already implemented.

Do not replace any departing employees and travel, meals

and entertainment expenses are no longer authorized.


Head honcho John Hogan advises, �It will make your job

more difficult and have some long-term affect on your

overall performance. It goes without saying that leading

through these reductions will be challenging.�


The struggle to unload a desperate Clear Channel to a

private equity group without a reduced price per share,

or before the deal falls apart totally, has the Mays family

in a sweat to cut expenses & improve the bottom line,

 but no word on discontinuing the use of their

 private corporate jet.  


Given the recent decline in business failures, some

company big wigs have cut their own wages to a

dollar a year.  But not the Clear Channel brass,

       they continue feeding at the trough after having

destroyed more than just a company that was given

 all of the  advantages to succeed. 


Meanwhile as news of the cuts reached Wall Street,

stock took a major tumble, the exact opposite of what 

Clear Channel had hoped for. 


Also in the doldrums is Citadel, with chief financial

officer Robert Freedline after less than two years on the

job jumping ship �to pursue other career opportunities."




Deal or No Deal


If the $19.5 billion sale of Clear Channel goes forward 

the Department of Justice has ordered the divesture of

radio stations in four markets because the buyers already

have substantial ownership interests in two firms that

compete with Clear Channel in those cities.


The Clear Channel stations in question are K101-fm,

 KISQ-fm, KKGN-fm, KKSF-fm, KMEL-fm, KNEW-am

and KYLD-fm in San Francisco.  WCKY-am, WEBN-fm,

WFFS-fm, WKRC-am, WLW-am, WNNF-fm, WOFX-fm 

and WSAI-am in Cincinnati and KBME-am, KHMX-fm,

KKRW-fm, KLOL-fm, KODA-fm, KPRC-am, KTBZ-fm,

KTRM-am in Houston. Also in Las Vegas KPLV-fm,

KSNE-fm, KWID-fm and KWNR-fm.


Speculation has Clear Channel more than willing

 to sell off Spanish language stations in Houston,

Las Vegas and San Francisco as a start at

satisfying the Department of Justice.


In announcing the decision, the DOJ said, �The

divestitures will ensure that advertisers will continue

 to receive the benefits of competition.�


Read the DOJ ruling  here




Charley Jones


�Texas Overnight� with Charley Jones on KRLD is

 such a refreshing change from the constant confrontation

of most talk show hosts. He's a great source for the

day�s top issues offered in a easy to take manner.  


Most programmers pay attention to the large

growing number of listeners available via WiFi

and the web with excellent "fill" during scheduled

local commercial breaks, but some apparently

don't...unfortunately KABC offers the most

redundant, abrasive fill music (?) of all.     


Their "3rd Shift" on LA's Free-fm  KLSX, is one of

the better overnight shows on radio.  Attracting a

 younger demo than usually listens to talk radio,

 their knowledge and historical reference of a

subject is sometimes limited but still entertaining.  


My WiFi radio also lets me appreciate the local

programming on KOMO in Seattle ;  Neal Boortz 

with one of the best morning shows in the nation on

 WSB - Atlanta. He's preceded with about the fastest

moving morning news anywhere.  Jeff Katz, afternoons

 at WBT in Charlotte skillfully and yet respectfully cuts

to the chaft when interviewing newsmakers and


Dr. Bill

Dr. Bill Wattenburg on San Francisco's KGO

is without any doubt one of the most knowledgeable

 hosts on almost any issue or subject.

Shotgun Tom      Neal Boortz

 Music stations I visit often are KRTH - Los Angeles

with "Shotgun Tom" Kelly;  KLUV in Dallas;

Real Oldies WVKZ in Schenectady-Albany, New York;

"Rewind" with our pal Jimmy Jay is a regular on 

and from San Diego;

KABL in San Francisco is a pleasant memory  and

 filling a similar void also is "Martini in the Morning"

along with the long time favorite


With the exception of an occasional George Strait

 hit,  country music radio is seldom "country" enough

for me anymore but I do listen to KMPS - Seattle and

KSCS in Dallas/Ft. Worth from  time to time.

"Country Legends" KKAT in Salt Lake City presents

a nice mix of country music "oldies."


During the recent holidays I was a guest on several

radio stations where along with radio's past and future,

the Hit Parade Hall of Fame was part of the

discussion. I really enjoyed WBT where starting the

  New Year, host Boomer Von Cannon invited me to

guest on the Saturday night  �Time Machine�

that recalls  people  and events from the  85 year

history of  the legendary Charlotte station.

On this night tribute was being given to Sam Phillips,

the founder of Sun Records on his birthday. 

Listen here .


Radio's Blood Returning ?


Media Services Group advises small to medium

 market radio stations will sell at an unprecedented

volume this year, the most since the passage of the

1996 Telecom Act. Two of radio�s past tell us they have

funding in place to enter ownership again of several

stations in 2008.


A few weeks after release of �Long Road Out of Eden,�

sales of the Eagles are passing the 4 million mark.

With �How Long� still a favorite cut, �Busy Being

Fabulous� will be the follow up release

says manager Irving Azoff


In the most recent voting for 2008 nominees at the

Hit Parade Hall of Fame,  Tommy James & the

Shondells leads the  pack with Olivia Newton-John

close behind.  The Everly Brothers are ahead of

all 2007 nominees  with Sonny & Cher in 2nd

place at this writing.  

Vote here NOW.

= = = =


Ziegler's "Death March"

John Ziegler

From #1 ratings to what he calls �a virtual death march�

that would lead to his departure from Clear Channel�s

Los Angeles crown jewel, John Ziegler�s KFI expose'

 is a must read for all of talk radio.

Read "The Real KFI"  here

= = = =


When a good product is created,

sales will follow.


With today�s radio management saturated by sales

executive�s intent with nursing the bottom line, we are

witnessing a continued slashing of programming

budgets. Regardless of the format, the bean counting

mentality continues ordering cuts of key on-air talent

for even top rated revenue producing facilities.


If music radio is to survive it has no alternative but to

give the consumer what is in short supply elsewhere,

local air talent and   music excitement that was a

major part of radio�s past success. It�s obvious, but

 the passing of time has erased any knowledge of

how easy and important it really is.


Meanwhile, local talk programming that focuses on

 the top issues of the day be they local, national or

 world-wide, could well turn out to be radio�s bright spot,

if it has one.


Unfortunately management today has replaced

programmers once responsible for motivating on-air

talent and creating exciting content, with those who

not only don�t consider commercials as programming,

they have been schooled to not recognize any

encroachment into their territory.


Yes, prior to bankers taking over the industry, top

management understood there was indeed a line

between sales and programming. Read the Bill Drake

profile below, he tells of radios growth era. "Everybody

else  was choking the goose laying the golden egg,

jamming in as many commercials as they could. When

 our slots were sold that was it."


As a player during those days I can assure you sales

had no input in programming, I personally never

attended sales meetings. Our job was to create

programming and the job of account executives was

to sell what we created.


Years ago KIMN Denver's owner Ken Palmer said,

"oil doesn't mix with water,  that's true for sales and

programming also."  His station, with five top 40

stations in one of the nations most competitive

radio markets, was far and away top rated during

his many years of ownership.


Their is no need for an adversarial relationship,

sales and programming have two very different

functions, both are important. 


When a good product is created, sales will follow.


= = = =


Bill Drake


Bill Drake is one of contemporary radio�s

 true programming legends.

 Many programming basics used today can

 be credited to him.


R&R's Erica Farber "Profiles" Bill Drake here


= = = =


High on Wi-Fi�.but


Acoustic Energy Wi-Fi Radio


Just when I thought the enjoyment of listening to radio

was over one of my most knowledgeable friends,

Rollye James, introduced me to an exciting new

experience � Wi-Fi radio.


No longer am I limited to a few dozen am/fm stations

and/or satellite radio, instead I�ve discovered there

are thousands of radio stations available with no

 subscription fee�s, no static, in CD quality.  The 

 selection of programming is virtually limitless. 


If your favorite radio program is no longer available

locally, listen to it on distant stations that do carry it.

Why wait to hear a syndicated program when you can

tune in to hear it ahead of time from another time zone.  

Every era, every genre of recorded music can now   be

heard along with Talk and News programming.


No software to load, no complex set-up, no antenna

needed, simply turn the Wi-Fi radio on to hear radio

stations locally, nationally and world-wide.  As if that

were not enough, I now can listen to audio files from

 my PC hard drive � and it�s all wireless.


Several choices of Wi-Fi radio�s are available both

table top and portable.  My Acoustic Energy Wi-Fi

radio arrived less than a week after ordering it from

the C. Crain Company, with it was their

plug-in pillow speaker for bed time listening.


The choices offered by Wi-Fi provide more of a selection

 to enjoy, but also reinforces radio�s need for

more programming expertise. 


Often it�s not what you put on the air, but what you

 keep off that makes for good radio.  Relegated to a back

seat by the sales oriented management of recent years,

 my Wi-Fi radio has made it abundantly clear�.

radio could learn much from its past.


I�m high on Wi-Fi, but there�s some pretty bad

radio out there folks.      


= = = =


Their fans have decided the first inductees into the

Hit Parade Hall of Fame with more than 63,000

votes  cast for more than one hundred recording

stars nominated by a panel of radio and music

industry veterans.

 Twenty-eight 2007 inductees were led by Elvis Presley,

followed by Paul Anka, the Beatles, Ray Charles

and Frank Sinatra.


18% of all votes to the Hit Parade Hall of Fame

came from outside the United States, with organized

fan clubs and artist websites playing a major role in

delivering votes.


A total of eighty-two 2007 nominees continue to vie

 for votes with sixty-two new 2008 nominees at the

Hit Parade Hall of Fame website.


See  and hear the complete list of the 2007

Inductees here.


= = = =



�A Damn Good Program Director�


Chuck Blore


Proud of being a programmer, many years ago radio

 guru Chuck Blore chided a title given me as VP,

Operations Manager. �What�s wrong with just being a

damn good Program Director,� asked Chuck.

 It hit  home with me as I reversed the so called

"promotion" given me by top management and began

to change my letterheads and business cards to

identify me as �Program Director.�


Now-a-days, thanks to my WiFi radio, I search nationally

for radio stations fortunate enough to have �a damn

good program director,� one who not only accepts the

 title as a badge of honor but truly �programs� the

radio station.


Unfortunately, pushed by top management to cut

programming expense, radio offers a sea of syndication,

with very little actual programming done locally. In

truth, schedulers have replaced program directors.


Over the past two decades, motivating, encouraging and

giving direction to talented performers, much like a

motion picture director does, has become a rarity if not a

total absence in radio.


All importance is now placed on the bottom line.

Syndication has ended �local� radio for Wooster, Ohio -

Oxnard, California - Maxwell, Idaho � Mitchell, South

Dakota � Greensboro, North Carolina - Corona,

California, Yakima, Washington,- Palmdale, California

and McKeesport, Pennsylvania, where many like Robert

W. Morgan, Larry Lujack, Gary Owens, Rick Dees,

the Real Don Steele, Don Imus and Rush Limbaugh

got their start.


With very few exceptions, the top honcho�s of radio

today could just as well be managing a chain of shoe

stores. Their blood is not that of industry leaders in

radio�s golden era. A PD today is encouraged to reach

 for a much higher position�that of  Operations

Manager, a General Manager or even a V.P.


As for me, I�ll settle for �just being a damn good

program director.�  Their's so few of us these days.



What the Sam Zell ?


Anyone who knows anything about Chicago radio

 realizes WGN has been on top in the ratings since

 before the Sears Tower or even the John Hancock

building came into being.


Enter a new billionaire owner, Sam Zell, who has given

 the keys to the station to Randy Michaels, who has an

industry reputation of being a �genius� programmer,

but in reality has only one claim to fame in that area -

creating Tampa�s �Power Pig,� a den of indecent

programming prior to the FCC finally taking steps to

return some sanity to run-a-way smut on the airwaves.


Chicagoans may recall the short term time when

Michaels entered the city in 1991 to rename an fm

station �Hell.� Within days the residents of Chicago

sent dandy Randy packing, his offensive brand of

programming didn�t sit well with the folks in



Now, Sam Zell has shoved his favorite radio �genius�

 into one of America�s great radio stations � WGN.   


Maybe, just maybe, Randy Michaels will have matured

enough to understand the old adage �if it ain�t broke,

don�t fix it.�  I doubt it.


Keep an eye on the #1 ratings of WGN, if they slide from

the top it will be due to the antics of Randy Michaels.


= = = = =


Archives Jan-Feb-Mar-Apr 2008


A Gold Star for Mason


Dan Mason


Since taking over as president of CBS radio, I�d have to

agree with virtually every step Dan Mason has taken.

A true radio broadcaster, experienced in every area

including that sadly missing from the top management

of other radio groups - programming expertise.


A former disc jockey, major market program director,

Group Program Director, Vice President/General

Manager of radio stations, President of Westinghouse

Radio, President of Infinity Radio and now

President of CBS radio.


Upon his arrival, CBS radio was the sad joke of the

radio industry. Drawing from his years of experience, 

Dan quietly set about changing the direction of the

group. He knew instinctively the steps to take.


Many years have passed since I last communicated

with Dan, a jock at Z-93 in Atlanta. But I�ve watched

 his career unfold, marveled at his professionalism

and hoped for more like him in radio management.


With Dan Mason in charge, we predict CBS radio will

be the leader for all others to emulate in 2008.  


Dan Mason deserves to be our 2007 Gold Star Award

 winner for radio.



= = = =


It�s not difficult being unimpressed with the captain

 of the USS Citadel Farid Suleman. His experience as

a bean counter doesn�t give him the expertise to

navigate in the waters of the radio industry.  


As first officer to Admiral Karmazin, Farid dreamed

 of the day he too could command his own fleet of

stations, until biting off far more than he could

chew with the purchase of ABC radio.


At the helm he found  the seas rougher than he

 had hoped, with stock shares now at an all time low,

Suleman has begun the destruction of a once great

group of stations.


Mirroring the Texas based Mays mess by desperately

grabbing dollars from any source, Captain Suleman

 has  ordered the once proud flagship, WABC in New

York, to program non-stop info commercials

beginning at midnight and continuing til� dawn.


It�s a precursor of what�s ahead for all of ABC radio. 


In an attempt to keep the USS Citadel afloat, in the

 New Year look for Suleman to begin selling off

stations and terminating programming  personnel.


It�s the sinking of the USS Citadel.



= = = = =


Gloomy Christmas for Clear Channel


While the chiefs at Clear Channel hand out hundreds

of surprise pink slips to employees heading into the

holidays, they got some Christmas gloom of their

own from FMR, an affiliate of the mutual fund giant

Fidelity, who dumped three-fourths of its stake

 in Clear Channel.

A dark cloud hangs over the announced sale of the

company to Bain Capital and Thomas H. LeePartners

as Clear Channel try�s desperately to sweeten the

 books, asking for more time to satisfy the buyers.


Some  may even find some humor in

"Christmas at Clear Channel" here


= = = = =

Islamists Target Michael Savage


Michael Savage

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

is trying to destroy the Savage Nation radio show

featuring Michael Savage.

We had better wake up fast !

Read more from Cliff Kincaid

 at Accuracy in Media here


= = = = =

While most were wagering it would never be, we

predicted many, many months ago, if anyone could

pull off a merger between the two competing satellite

services, Mel Karmazin could.


He has a reason to be smiling this Christmas with

word leaking out the Department of Justice has

given their blessing to a Sirus � XM merger. 

Still needed is approval from the Federal

Communications Commission, probably early

 into the New Year. 


While Mel sez a merger will benefit subscribers,

it�s expected some at XM will be joining the long

line of radio�s unemployed.

= = = = = 


Joining the radio talk show circuit daily starting

 in March, 2008, Lou Dobbs sez he is excited to add

his views to help enrich the national dialog leading

 into the November elections.  He has been one of

TV�s strongest voices on the invasion of our

nation by illegals.


 Volvo has decided in the fall of 2008 to include

HD Radio�s as standard equipment. Let�s hope a major

move is undertaken to offer programming more than is

already available on AM/FM.  Thus far there is a reason

for the less than successful start for HD radio�.one

must wonder if and when "content" will finally

become important again.

 = = = = = 


Please, tell me it�s not true. 

Star and Buc Wild, the duo that even Clear Channel

found to be too repulsive, will be returning to the

 New York airwaves for another round of smut

and indecency.


Star, whose real name is Troi Torian, was fired by

 Clear Channel in May 2006 when his  trashy mouth

antics on WWPR brought pressure from powerful

political sources.


They are said to replace a Russian music format on

Long Islands WNYZ.

 = = = = = 


John's Pick


The trademark harmonizing of the Eagles

with 20 great songs.


In its first week of release it topped the charts,

 as well it should. 


Our early favorites:

�How Long�

 �I Don�t Want To Hear Anymore�

 �No More Cloudy Days�

�Fast Company�

 �Do Something�


(Sample them here)

Radio, take your pick�each cut is a

magnet for listeners.